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2021 DRaysBay Community Prospect List No. 19

A trio of special-election additions keep the list moving.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Previous additions

RHP Luis Patiño (6’1 192, 21 in 2021)

2020 statistics with San Diego: 17 1⁄3 IP, 5.19 ERA, 1.85 WHIP, 16.5 BB%, 24.7 K%)

Patiño was the headliner in the Blake Snell trade. He was one of the youngest pitchers in the league, but the Padres trusted him enough to include him on their playoff roster. He has the stuff to be an elite pitcher. His fastball averaged 96.8 mph, albeit mostly in relief. His slider and changeup can both be above-average pitches as well. Like a lot of young pitchers, he’ll need to throw more strikes.

RHP Cole Wilcox (6’5 232, 21 in 2021)

Drafted in 2020

Wilcox’s $3.3 million bonus was a record for a third-round pick because he was a first-round talent. He could’ve been a first-round pick in 2018 as well, but he was determined to go to Georgia, where he impressed in limited innings as a sophomore this season. His mid-90s fastball and hard slider at least give him an opportunity to be a high-leverage reliever. Whether he starts is up to the development of his changeup and control.

C Blake Hunt (R/R, 6’3 215, 22 in 2021)

2019 statistics with Class-A Fort Wayne: 376 PA, .255/.331/.381, 5 HR, 29 XBH, 9.3 BB%, 17.8 K%

The Rays are still in search of a long-term catcher, and Hunt has the defensive ability they look for. Even though he’s big for the position, he can receive and throw, and he has the intangible qualities teams value behind the plate. How much will he hit? He has power potential and doesn’t strike out an overwhelming amount, but his hit tool lags behind his others.

There has been some discussion about list management, and I understand it. As far as I can remember, this is the most special-election additions we’ve had in one offseason, and Nick Bitsko’s injury may be less detailed than we’ve seen.

However, I think this is just the process of making a prospect list. We act with the information we have at a given time and make the best decisions we can.

I know there were a couple requests to add players last week. I was not able to write them up, and I’m going to keep testers closed for this one to prioritize those previous requests for the next poll. If you intended to vote for Sandy Gaston or Esteban Quiroz this poll, I apologize. Please note that under the Others comment.

2021 Community prospect list

Rank Player Votes Total Percentage Last season
Rank Player Votes Total Percentage Last season
1 SS Wander Franco 24 39 61.5% 1
2 OF Randy Arozarena 33 33 100.0% 9
3 IF Vidal Brujan 20 34 58.8% 3
4 RHP Luis Patino Special election N/A
5 LHP Shane McClanahan 11 29 37.9% 6
6 RHP Shane Baz 19 28 67.9% 4
7 DH/LHP Brendan McKay 19 31 61.3% 2
8 OF Josh Lowe 9 27 33.3% 5
9 IF Xavier Edwards 14 34 41.2% 8
10 IF Taylor Walls 10 28 35.7% 15
11 RHP Brent Honeywell Jr. 10 27 37.0% 11
12 C/OF Heriberto Hernandez Special election N/A
13 RHP Cole Wilcox Special election N/A
14 C Ronaldo Hernandez 8 21 38.1% 10
14 SS Greg Jones 13 25 52.0% 12
15 SS Carlos Colmenarez Special election N/A
16 C Blake Hunt Special election N/A
17 RHP Joe Ryan 14 25 56.0% 13
18 LHP Josh Fleming 11 21 52.4% 26
19 RHP JJ Goss 8 25 32.0% 16
20 RHP Seth Johnson 15 25 60.0% 24
21 RHP Nick Bitsko 10 25 40.0% N/A
22 3B Kevin Padlo 17 27 63.0% 14
23 SS Alejandro Pie 6 20 30.0% 31
24 SS Alika Williams 7 18 38.9% N/A
25 IF Osleivis Basabe 6 17 35.3% N/A
26 RHP Taj Bradley 5 18 27.8% 22
27 C Ford Proctor 5 18 27.8% 40
28 RHP Drew Strotman 12 20 60.0% 32
29 LHP Ian Seymour 6 17 35.3% N/A
30 LHP John Doxakis
31 IF Esteban Quiroz
32 OF Jhon Diaz
33 IF Pedro Martinez
34 OF Nick Schnell
35 RHP Michael Mercado
36 SS Abiezel Ramirez
37 RP Ryan Thompson
38 RHP Sandy Gaston
39 LHP Michael Plassmeyer
40 IF Curtis Mead
41 OF Niko Hulsizer
42 OF Moises Gomez

IF Osleivis Basabe (R/R 6’1 165, 21 in 2021)

2019 statistics with Arizona League Rangers and short-season Spokane: 176 PA, .323/.352/.398, 5 3B, 7 XBH, 7/9 SB, 4.5 BB%, 11.9 K%

Basabe was acquired alongside teammate Heriberto Hernandez in the trade that sent Nate Lowe to Texas. He’s a different player though. He’s a high-contact hitter who rarely strikes out. He’s also a good athlete with a good arm who can play across the infield and could play center field if necessary. Although he makes hard contact, in-game power hasn’t been there yet.

RHP Nick Bitsko (6’4 220, 19 in 2021)

Drafted in 2020

For the third straight season, the Rays took a high school pitcher in the first round, even when the rest of the industry is trending the other way. Bitsko was considered a top prospect for the 2021 draft, but he reclassified and got drafted a year earlier. His fastball sits in the low-to-mid 90s, and his curveball is a potential plus pitch. His changeup has potential, and he should be a strike thrower. Bitsko recently required shoulder surgery “to repair a labrum issue,” but the extent of the injury is not known.

RHP JJ Goss (6’3 185, 20 in 2021)

2019 statistics with Gulf Coast League Rays: 17 IP, 5.82 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 2.8 BB%, 22.5 K%

Goss improved throughout the spring in his draft year, and that led to the Rays selecting him with the No. 36 pick in 2019. His stuff got better. His velocity improved, and his breaking ball and changeup were sharper. Reports from 2020 indicate that trend has continued (Baseball America $). In addition, he was considered one of the best strike throwers in his draft class (BA $). With his athleticism, he should continue to throw strikes.

RHP Seth Johnson (6’1 200, 22 in 2021)

2019 statistics with Gulf Coast League Rays and rookie-level Princeton: 17 IP, 2.12 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 4.3 BB%, 23.2 K%

Johnson was a huge riser last spring as a fairly new convert to pitching after having little success as a hitter. He reportedly stood out in the instructional league in 2020. According to Baseball America, he’s shown improved fastball velocity and a better slider ($). Because of his lack of experience, he was probably among the prospects most affected by the canceled season, but it sounds like he didn’t waste his summer.

3B Kevin Padlo (R/R, 6’2 205, 24 in 2021)

2019 statistics with Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham: 432 PA, .265/.389/.538, 21 HR, 53 XBH, 12/16 SB, 15.7 BB%, 26.9 K%

Padlo broke a hamate bone in 2017, and it took him until the 2019 season to get back on track. He’s always had power potential, and he started showing it in games. His average wasn’t bad, and he posted a high walk rate. He’s a good defender at third base and has spent time at both first base and second base, which he was able to do with his athleticism. He was at points on the team’s taxi squad in 2020 but didn’t appear in any games.

SS Alejandro Pie (R/R, 6’4 175, 19 in 2021)

2019 statistics with Dominican Summer League Rays 1: 253 PA, .289/.361/.342, 24/32 SB, 11 XBH, 4.3 BB%, 18.2 K%

Pie was one of the Rays’ top two signings in the 2018-19 international period, and he was decent in his pro debut — although his 5.9 HBP% is likely unsustainable. Despite his size and potential for growth, he could stick at shortstop thanks to his athleticism. If not, he has the arm to play anywhere on the field. With that size comes power potential, but he hasn’t shown much of it yet.

SS Alika Williams (R/R, 6’2 180, 22 in 2021)

Drafted in 2020

Williams was one of the top defensive infielders in the draft, and sticking at shortstop shouldn’t be an issue. On a team with the best college baseball players in the country, Baseball America ranked him as the No. 8 prospect (BA $), noting he had surprising success at the plate. He walked more than he struck out at Arizona State, but the pop he showed with Team USA was unexpected.